A Veteran's View
LPGA standout and 2002 U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Captain
Sherri Steinhauer took some time to answer your questions about
her game, her experiences and her routines.
Q: What is your most memorable moment on the LPGA Tour?
A: My most memorable moment on the tour would have to be sinking
the winning putt on the 1998 Solheim Cup team at Murifield Country
Club and looking up and watching a group of players from the
team storming the green to hug and congratulate our win. The
team spirit was a very special time for me.
Q: It can be tough to feel comfortable at a new golf course
in a city you've never been to. What sort of routine do you
go through to try to get acclimated?
Born: Madison, Wis.
Residence: Madison, Wis.
Education: University of Texas
Rookie Year: 1986
Career-Low Round: 64
LPGA Holes-In-One: 3
Career Victories: 5
Solheim Cup Appearances: 3
Pete Fontaine, SportImages
A: While on tour, my usual weekly routine is as follows. Monday:
Day off. Tueusday: Play and practice. Wednesday: Pro-am tournament.
Thursday-Sunday: Competition. If I have never been to a city
or played the golf course I will use Monday as a day to become
First, I will research my chosen hotel location to restaurants,
comfort and driving distance to the golf course. If I am unhappy
with any of this, I may change to a more convenient hotel to
assure that I am comfortable and feel settled for the week.
Personally, this is very important to me because I am always
attempting to put myself in the best situation to allow for
my best play.
Second, I will head to the golf course for investigation. I
will make a trip to register for the tournament and find the
locker room with my locker. I walk around the grounds searching
out the driving range, putting green, any chipping greens, discovering
whatever the course has to offer. I will also seek out the golf
professional and have a chat about the course and any advice
he may have to offer. By becoming comfortable with the surroundings
at the course, I now put myself in a state so that I can approach
Tuesday without any distractions and prepare for the tournament.
Third, I will check out hospitality. Each week the food that
is served to players is different. I am very appreciative for
whatever that may be but I have to be prepared to eat elsewhere
if the food is not what puts me in the best competitive state.
This rarely happens but at a new event one must be prepared
Q: What advice do you have for playing well under the
stress of tournament golf, especially during the last four holes
of a tournament? How does one deal with the excitement and nervousness
of the situation?
A: Nerves are a fact of life and something everyone must deal
with. You will run into people who say they are not nervous,
well, most likely you will not have to worry about them as a
competitor because their passion is missing. As far as your
and my nerves go, treat them as your friend. Anyone who cares
enough experiences nerves, so really, the bottom line is who
ever can deal with them the best will most likely come out on
top in the end. I truly believe confidence allows one to deal
with nerves the best. In other words, the better you are playing
the easier it will be to deal with a difficult situation and
the nerves that go along because your confidence carries you
to another level.
For example, I remember playing against Kelly Robbins in 1994
at the Sprint Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla. I experienced
a level of confidence I have never come close to since. I was
hoping she would make a putt so I had to. Or, I was hoping she
would hit it in close so I had to. I had such an elevated amount
of confidence with my game that not even my nerves could get
in the way. Ive often thought this is what Tiger Woods
must feel every day of his life. Anyway, it is a wonderful feeling
and I believe working on the mental side of the game and being
prepared for any shot you may face helps you to attain this
Q: I am interested in playing golf in college. What is
the best way to go about it?
Steinhauer, seen here at the inaugural PING Junior
Solheim Cup, gives Ashley Knoll of The Woodlands,
Texas, a few words of wisdom before her match. Steinhauer
acted as U.S. Team Captain on their way to a landslide
A: Seek out as much competition as you can. Playing AJGA events
is the best way one can prepare for college. Finding a college
you want to play for can be a tough decision. This will depend
on your abilities. If you are a top player you would want to
choose a school that is a top-15 school in the country. This
should allow you a number of options to locations, school size
and varying degrees of academics to allow you the opportunity
to make the team and gain competitive experience.
Q: I am 12 years old and finished the season with a stroke
average of 90.3 . I live in Indiana and, as you know, we cannot
play golf year round. I want to work on my putting stroke inside
this winter. I am having trouble understanding a technique I
know I need to work on. I have been told that I need to keep
my putter low through impact. However I've been unable to grasp
what this should feel like or find a drill to use to accomplish
A: Hi Alex, thank you very much for your question. Wow, for
a 12-year-old you are very well educated with the game.
I understand you want a thought to work on for the winter so
you can be ready to go come springtime. I can appreciate that
growing up in Wisconsin. I use a long putter these days so I
called a friend of mine to help better answer this question.
He happens to be one of the greatest putters of all time, Dave
Stockton. His advice is to practice putting one-handed (using
your left hand only) and feel the back of the left hand going
towards the hole. By using this concept you have to keep the
putter head low through the impact area. His best advice on
the feel part of the question, which I practice myself, is visualization.
You want to feel the ball falling into an exact part of the
cup. If you have a straight putt, you would visualize and feel
the ball falling into the center of the cup. If you have a right-to-left
breaking putt, you would visualize and feel the ball falling
into the cup on the right side. You would zone in on this exact
spot you are visualizing; the more break there is the more to
the right of the cup you would see the ball falling. At some
point, if the green is severe enough, a ball can actually fall
in on the back side of the cup, so you want to visualize and
feel the ball falling in at the back.